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E-souvenir of the CME-cum-Workshop on YOGA AND LIFESTYLE DISORDERS held on 22 November 2013 at MGMC & RI, Pondicherry. The event was organized
by Department of Physiology and Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education & Research (CYTER), MGMC&RI of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, Pondicherry.


  1. 1. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 Chief Patron Shri MK Rajagopalan Chairman, Sri Balaji Educational and Charitable Public Trust Patron Prof KR Sethuraman Vice Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth Advisory Panel Prof. N Ananthakrishnan Prof. KA Narayan Dr. S Ravichandran Prof. S Krishnan Prof. Nirmal Coumare Prof. AR Srinivasan Organizing Chairman Prof. Madanmohan Organizing Secretary Finance Secretary Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani Mr. S Vasanthan CORE TEAM Prof. Arun Chandra Singh Prof. K Henri Balraj Dr. R Jagan Mohan Prof. R Ramesh Prof. K Jaiganesh Smt Meena Ramanathan Prof. Sudha Rao Dr. S BalaNehru Mrs. AN Uma MEMBERS Dr. R Sobana Dr. SP Santhakumari Dr. SR Mangala Gowri Dr. H Vishnupriya Miss. M Sangeetha 2 Dr. T Jeneth Berlin Raj Dr. B Prem Miss. G Sarulatha Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  2. 2. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 INDEX Page No. Messages 4 From the desk of the Organizing Chairman 11 From the desk of the Organizing Secretary 12 Programme schedule of CME-cum-Workshop 13 Prof. K R Sethuraman - Holistic Healing & Yoga Therapy 14 Prof. Madanmohan - Yog for healthy lifestyle 15 Yogacharya S Sridharan - Yogic lifestyle 22 Dr. Latha Satish - Yoga: The original mind body medicine 25 Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani - Psychosomatic mechanisms of yoga 27 - Yoga practices for prevention & management of lifestyle disorders 33 Profile : Dr. S. Eswaran 43 Profile : Yogacharini Cathy Davis 44 Profile : Yoga Chemmal Meena Ramanathan 45 Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani - Yoga: an ancient lifestyle suitable for modern man 46 Research studies on yoga and lifestyle disorders 47 About CYTER 72 Photo Gallery 76 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 3
  3. 3. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 MESSAGE FROM THE CHANCELLOR It gives me immense pleasure to note the Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research (CYTER) and the Department of Physiology are jointly organizing a scientific workshop on “Yoga and Lifestyle Disorders.” The topic chosen includes both question and answer clearly indicating Yoga as an answer for the problems of today’s’ Life Style Disorders. The concept of Yoga being practised in our medical college reflects our holistic approach towards health, as well as the alternative form of medicine. I wish all success for the phase II of CYTER as well as the scientific workshop. M.K. Rajagopalan, Chancellor Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University, Puducherry 4 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  4. 4. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 MESSAGE FROM THE VICE-CHANCELLOR Most people are unaware of the difference between yoga and yoga therapy, and which is appropriate for them. Yoga therapy uses the ancient principles of yoga to enhance health and wellness at all levels of a person: physical, emotional, and spiritual. It is based on a holistic approach to an individual, because in order to acquire true health, all aspects of a person must be addressed in toto. Yoga therapy is a good choice for: • People with specific health concerns, who want to acquire tools specific to their condition to improve wellness. • People who are looking for a fulfilling way to exercise. When done correctly, yoga is rewarding and intrinsically motivating. • People who wish to slow aging and improve their health. • People who would like to develop a fulfilling personal yoga practice. Yoga therapy often enhances the benefits gained from modern medical treatments, while also reducing unwanted side-effects. By its unique action of simultaneously strengthening and relaxing both the mind and body, yoga therapy helps patients cope with health concerns more effectively and return more quickly to thriving good health. It is therefore timely and appropriate for the Yoga therapy unit of MGMCRI, which is currently in its phase-2 expansion to conduct a 1-day CME cum Workshop on Yoga and its place in modern evidence based healthcare. Given the breadth and depth of topic coverage in this scientific event, I am confident that it will be of great value to all the delegates. I wish the event all the success and accolades that it deserves. Prof K.R. SETHURAMAN. Vice-Chancellor, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 5
  5. 5. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN I am extremely happy that the Department of Physiology and Center for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research are organising a one day seminar on Yoga for both health and disease. I am sure that the proceedings will go a long way in creating awareness about the benefits of yoga based on scientific evidence. I wish the seminar success. Thanking You, Prof .S.Krishnan, DEAN (Admn) MGMC&RI, Puducherry 6 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  6. 6. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN ( PG ) I wish the CME- cum -Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle disorder 2013, conducted by the Department of Physiology & Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research (CYTER), a grand success. Prof. N Ananthankrishnan DEAN (Research and PG Studies ) MGMC&RI, Puducherry Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 7
  7. 7. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 MESSAGE FROM THE MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENT Yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy.Yoga was considered as Fifth most commonly used Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapy in the treatment of chronic and systemic diseases. Life style modification is commonly advised and practiced as adjuvant in the treatment of chronic disorders since it’s proven to facilitate the healing process in chronic diseases like Diabetes mellitus and Hypertension. CYTER at MGMC&RI is contributing a lot towards patient care, research and creating awareness about the role of Yoga in life style modification as part of modern medicine. I wish the event “Yoga and life style disorders” a good success. Prof.NirmalCoumare.V Medical Superintendent MGMC&RI, Puducherry 8 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  8. 8. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 MESSAGE FROM THE REGISTRAR Lifestyle disorders have been assuming menacing proportions since the last decade. While modern medicine is geared up fully to confront and manage this catastrophe, the adjuvant role of complementary and alternative medicine cannot be undermined. Yoga therapy is one such alternate modality which is vibrant in our University. It is a matter of great pride that the Department of Physiology and CYTER, MGMCRI have planned to organize a CME cum Workshop on 22.11.2013. CYTER under the able and eminent guidance of Prof. Madanmohan and Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani is sure to make rapid strides in patient care, academics and research. May success be associated with the endeavors of CYTER in its Phase-II activities. Prof. A.R. SRINIVASAN (Registrar, SBV) Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 9
  9. 9. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 MESSAGE FROM DEPUTY DIRECTOR Yoga therapy has become prominent as a form of therapy in the entire globe. Now days patient-centered’ health services and the integration of complementary therapies is main focus in Health Industry. CYTER fully supports this shift to helping all beings learn how to care for themselves and helps to know well about the need of wellbeing. People have to understand how yoga really helps in healing the diseases. This understanding is encouraged through conducting more scientific meetings and explaining the evidence based reports to the people as well as the counter parts of those who are involving health care. People should understand that mental wellbeing is very much essential for healthier life which can be achieved by without medicines and other alternative complementary approaches like Yoga, Music, and Somatic Naturopathic approaches. I congratulate the entire team for organizing this scientific programme, which will really going to deliver the evidence based link between the modern medicine and Yoga therapy. Wish you all the best. Dr. S RAVICHANDRAN DEPUTY DIRECTOR, MGMCRI 10 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  10. 10. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 MESSAGE FROM VICE PRINCIPAL Yoga has evolved from an ascetic practice to become a universal language of spiritual exercise crossing many lines of religion and cultures. Used predominantly to promote physical, mental and spiritual health, its benefits have now been seen in diseases conditions also. I have personally benefitted enormously even with the little yoga that I practice. The Center for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research is building the evidence base for the benefits of Yoga in The one day seminar cum workshop is part of that effort and to disseminate the findings. The deliberations and I wish the seminar all success. health and disease conditions. interactions will help integration of two diverse sciences. Prof K A Narayan Vice Principal, MGMCRI Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 11
  11. 11. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 FROM THE DESK OF THE ORGANIZING CHAIRMAN It is a pleasure to welcome you to this day-long CME-cum-Workshop on “Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders.” At the outset, I wish to express my heart-felt gratitude to our hon’ble Chairman, Shri MK Rajagopalan for his encouragement and support for organizing this CME. Guidance and support of our respected Vice-Chancellor, Prof. KR Sethuraman made the planning of the programme a smooth affair. Dean Research and PG studies, Professor N Ananthakrishnan has been a source of inspiration and motivation. I am grateful to Prof. S Krishnan, Dean and Prof. KA Narayan, Vice-Principal for their support. Logistic support by the management of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University is gratefully acknowledged. I am grateful for the support extended by the Departments of Anatomy and Biochemistry and CIDRF. I thank my colleagues from the Department of Physiology for their unconditional support. I am sure that the day-long CME-cum-Workshop will be an enlightening and enjoyable experience for you and wish you all the best. Prof. Madanmohan Professor & Head, Dept. of Physiology, and Director CYTER, MGMC&RI. 12 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  12. 12. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 FROM THE DESK OF THE ORGANIZING SECRETARY Welcome to this CME-cum-Workshop on “Yoga and lifestyle disorders” organized jointly by the Department of Physiology and the CYTER of MGMC&RI, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University. We also welcome you to the inauguration of Phase-II of CYTER that has been functioning at MGMC&RI since 2010. Yoga is the original mind-body medicine that has enabled individuals to attain and maintain sukha sthanam, a dynamic sense of physical, mental and spiritual well being. Bhagavad-Gita defines Yoga as samatvam meaning thereby that Yoga is equanimity at all levels, a state wherein physical homeostasis and mental equanimity occur in a balanced and healthy harmony. Yoga is the most perfect lifestyle module as it is comprehensive and holistic in its nature. Yogic lifestyle including diet, attitudes and various techniques help strengthen and develop positive health enabling us to withstand stress better. This Yogic “health insurance” is achieved by normalizing the perception of stress, optimizing the reaction to it and by releasing the pent-up stress effectively through various Yogic practices. Yoga is a wholistic and integral science of life dealing with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of the individual and society. This CME-cum-Workshop aims to give participants an overview of the role Yoga can play in lifestyle disorders by inculcating a healthy lifestyle whose main components are: achar (healthy activities), vichar (right thoughts and right attitude towards life) , ahar (healthy, nourishing diet) and vihar (proper recreational activities to relax body and mind). To live a healthy life, it is important to do healthy things and follow a healthy lifestyle. The modern world is facing a pandemic of lifestyle disorders that require changes to be made consciously by individuals themselves. This CME-cum-Workshop will be beneficial for medical and paramedical professionals and students as well as Yoga practitioners and enthusiasts. It has been carefully planned by our team while keeping in mind the diverse needs of the delegates from medical, paramedical disciplines as well as Yoga teachers and enthusiasts. We wish that this endeavor of ours will provide you an objective and succinct insight into the concepts and applications of Yoga in lifestyle disorders. Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani Deputy Director, CYTER, MGMC&RI Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 13
  13. 13. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute CENTRE FOR YOGA THERAPY, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH (CYTER) CME-cum-Workshop on YOGA AND LIFESTYLE DISORDERS Friday, 22 November 2013 08.00 – 09.00 AM Registration 09.00 – 09.20 AM Talk 09.25 – 10.25 AM Inauguration of CYTER Phase II Yoga: the original mind body medicine 1. Welcome address & introduction to CME-cum-Workshop & CYTER 2. Lead talk "Holistic Healing & Yoga Therapy" Dr. Latha Satish, KYM, Chennai Sri. MK Rajagopalan, Honorable Chairman. Prof. KR Sethuraman, VC, SBVU. Dr. Madanmohan Prof & Head, Dept. of Physiology, MGMCRI. Prof. KR Sethuraman, VC, SBVU 10.25 AM Tea break 11.00 – 11.30 AM Talk Lifestyle & lifestyle disorders 11.30 – 12.00 PM Talk Yogic lifestyle 12.15 – 01.15 PM Practice session Yogic techniques for healthy living Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani Clinical spectrum of somatoform disorders Dr. Eshwaran Prof & Head Dept. of Psychiatry, MGMCRI. Yoga & psychosomatic disorders Dr. Latha Satish, KYM Mrs. Cathy Davis, UK Sri. S Sridharan, KYM Dr. Madanmohan, MGMCRI Revision of yogic techniques Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani 01.15 – 02.15 PM Panel discussion Panel chair & co-ordinator 03.30 – 05.00 pm Practice session 05.00 – 05.30 PM Smt. Meena Ramanathan Valedictory, proceedings, & recommendations 05.30 PM 14 Smt. Meena Ramanathan Lunch / poster session 02.15 – 03.30 PM Dr. Madanmohan Prof & Head, Dept. of Physiology, MGMCRI. Yogacharya Sri S Sridharan, KYM, Chennai Farewell tea Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  14. 14. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 PROFILE Prof K.R. SETHURAMAN. MD, PGDHE Professor K.R. Sethuraman is currently Vice Chancellor of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry. He is a well known clinician and popular medical educationist who served with distinction as Dean and Senior Professor of Faculty of Medicine and Deputy VC – Academic and International Affairs in the AIMST University, Malaysia from 2006 to 2013. He retired as Director-Professor (Internal) Medicine at JIPMER where he worked in various capacities from 1981 to 2006. During this period he was the prime force behind the National Teacher Training Centre (NTTC) that he headed as a Department of Medical Education & NTTC during 1996-2006. He was also lecturer in Cardiology at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum from 1978 to 1981. He has been consultant in Taskforce of JPT (MOHE) Panel on Medical Education in Malaysia, Training consultant for Training of Trainers: World Bank aided Health Systems Project: Andhra Pradesh (APVVP), Karnataka State (KHSDP) and Orissa State and Temporary advisor to WHO – HRH meet at Cape town, South Africa (2004), Psycho-social Issues meet at Bangkok (2005) and First South Asian Conference on PG medical education, Colombo (2005). He has authored more than 30 Pubmed Referenced papers, 40 invited papers, and 60 presentations in conferences/workshops in India, South Africa, Srilanka & Thailand. He has authored nine books including “Beyond Rational Therapy”, “Practical Echography”,” Medical Education: Principles & Practice”, “Implementing Innovations in Clinical Skill Training” and the well known “Trick or Treat – a survival guide to healthcare”, ”Doctor-Patient Communication and “Post Mortem”- a Book serialised as 65 Tamil articles in “Junior Vikatan”. His video / computer-based educational units are very popular amongst clinicians and students as they include “Push, Promote or Educate.” - a WHO aided video, “Doctor-Patient Dyads.” - a video on common communication problems, “Patient Personality Types.” - a video on how to handle different patients, “Oral Examination” - part 4 of a video on National Board Examination, “Album of Clinical Cases.” - a collection of interesting & unique cases and five Computer based educational programmes Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 15
  15. 15. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 HOLISTIC HEALING & YOGA THERAPY Prof K.R. SETHURAMAN. MD, PGDHE Holistic Medicine is similar to Integrative Medicine in its approach. It focuses on the ‘Preventive and therapeutic approach which sees the person as a whole being, including mind, body, & spirit, and not as a patient with an isolated malfunction of a particular system or organ.” Integrative medicine (IM) is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. Holistic Healing is very much a part of family medicine. “To heal is to achieve or acquire wholeness as a person; the wholeness involves physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual aspects of human experience” says Dr TR Egnew, a Chief of Family Medicine in Washington DC. There are three types of Healing: Spontaneous natural healing, Technological healing (based on active medications or procedures) and Inter-personal healing (induced by Provider-Client relationship). Wickenburg consensus statement of 1988 has looked at various Factors in Healing and it estimated that Rational (Pharmacological or technological) factors only accounted for 20% of healing and the remainder resulted from Placebo effect (35%), Hawthorne effect (30) and Spiritual factor (15%) Complementary & Alternative Medicine use among 1,055 patients of Mayo Heart Clinic in USA revealed that 82% reported use of CAM therapies, which included 24% mind-body therapies like Yoga& meditation, stress management, and other relaxation techniques. However, only 1 in 7 discussed it with their physicians for fear of refutation or ridicule. A similar study in Australia among 19209 women found that 1-in-3 used yoga and meditation as adjunct therapies. Therefore Yoga-therapy is currently a very active area of research and include the following conditions: • Psychological symptoms and disorders • Mindfulness and job stress • Anxiety • Depression • Sleep • Pain syndromes • Low back pain • Headaches • Osteoarthritis • Rheumatoid arthritis • Cardiovascular conditions o Coronary artery disease o Hypertension • Yoga In Recent Research • Autoimmune conditions • Asthma • Ashtanga yoga & Smoking • Diabetes • Multiple Sclerosis • Lymphoma • Breast Cancer 16 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  16. 16. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 • Physical effects o Weight loss o Leg strength • Pregnancy conditions o Hypertension and preterm labor o Stress and vagal activity o Labor pain • Physiological effects o Heart rate and blood pressure o Pulmonary measures • Ashtanga yoga & Smoking Some of the recent evidences of Yoga therapy: Ashtanga yoga for weight loss and well being in the Young: Ashtanga yoga is often referred to as ‘‘power yoga’’ as it is more aerobic in nature. Participants lost 2 kg on average after a 12-week program. Yoga during pregnancy -Effects on maternal comfort, labour pain & outcomes: 74-primigravid Thai women were equally divided into experimental and control groups. yoga program involved six, 1-hr sessions at prescribed weeks of gestation. The Yoga-group had i) higher levels of maternal comfort during labour and 2 hour post-labour and ii) had experienced less labour pain Yoga on Balance & Gait: A study of 27 women with musculoskeletal problems (osteoarthritis and low-back pain) who underwent 8 sessions (twice weekly x 4 weeks) of yoga therapy of asanas, stretching exercises and breathing techniques revealed that yoga had a positive effect on balance and gait of women with musculoskeletal problems. Adverse effects of Incorrect Yoga practice included meditation-induced mania or psychosis, arterial occlusion, and “lotus neuropathy” which highlight the importance of using properly trained yoga therapists. Mindless Rejection of Effective Rational Rx is at times of great concern to evidence-based practitioners. In a study of 2562 breast cancer survivors, the research question was, “does the use of alternative medicine affect breast cancer prognosis in those who reject systemic therapy?” The results showed that those who refused proven systemic treatment had double the risk of adverse outcomes and that alternative therapies did not alter the outcome of breast cancer. Therefore yoga therapy is only an adjunct in cancer management and not a replacement for standard therapy. Looking in to the Future: • Advances in neuro-imaging, genomics & metabolomics will help unravel the secrets of natural healing processes . • We could offer evidence based therapy incorporating these “endogenous healthcare forces” thus unifying the art and science of healing. • Let all the healing forces work together to help the suffering humanity. Author info: Prof KR Sethuraman. MD. PGDHE, VC – SBV e-mail: or Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 17
  17. 17. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 PROFILE Prof MADANMOHAN MBBS, MD (Physiology), PG Diploma in Yoga, MSc Yoga, DSc (Yoga), FIAY Dr. Madanmohan is Professor & Head, Department of Physiology at the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Research Institute and Director CYTER. He has teaching & research experience of more than 42 years and his fields of research are yoga, yoga therapy, cardiovascular & respiratory physiology. He has delivered more than 45 invited talks on yoga in conferences, academic forums and organizations and has numerous awards including Gold Medal & Scroll of Honor, Annual Internal Oration (2009-10), JIPMER Scientific Society; Best Personalities of India Award and Gold Medal, Friendship Forum of India and Honorary appointment to the Research Board of Advisors (1999) of the American Biographical Institute. He was Founder-Programme Director of ACYTER, JIPMER. He has 101 research papers (including original research work) in national and international journals, more than 74 abstracts and 28 magazine articles. He has guided 34 PG’s (MD, MS, MSc, and PhD) students in their thesis work and 15 medical students in their ICMR Research Studentship. He has worked in 26 research projects as chief investigator / co-investigator. He has personally given yoga training to medical students, school children, police personnel and general public as well as yoga therapy to hospital patients. He has organized many workshops and CMEs in Yoga and edited 7 proceedings of workshops / CMEs / symposia and 3 reports of research projects in yoga. He has served as expert in selection committees of UPSC, JIPMER, University of Madras, NEIGRIHMS, Shillong, Pondicherry Government Medical College and AIIMS. He has also been part time MCI inspector (for UG & PG) for inspection of medical colleges and Member, Inspection Committee for Medical Colleges, Pondicherry University. He was honoured by Yoga Jivana Satsangha (International) with the Karma Yoga Shironmani in 2003 in recognition of his illustrious service for the integration of yoga and modern medicine. 18 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  18. 18. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 YOG FOR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE Prof. MADANMOHAN Healthy lifestyle: a holistic view: Who does not want good health and long life ? However, there is no free lunch and one has to earn it by living a disciplined and healthy lifestyle. Health is the best wealth, so says the samskrit verse “Labhanam shreshtham arogyam”. If you possess good health, feel blessed, give thanks and preserve it at all costs. If not, do your best to achieve it, at any cost since our body is a temple of the Divine (Deho devalayah) and the means for performing all righteous deeds (Sharir madyam khalu dharm sadhanam). Vedic rishis have prayed for a full, enjoyable and independent life not just for 100 years, but even beyond (AUM tachchakshur devahitam …… bhooyashch sharadah shatat. Yajurved, 36: 14). Many warriors of Mahabharat war ( ∼ 3000 BC ) were of venerable age and the great warrior Bhishma Pitamah was absolutely healthy and strong at 186 years. The secret of their long and healthy life was disciplined lifestyle in tune with the laws of Mother Nature. These universal Divine laws of nature are called as “Rit” in Vedic language. Yog and ayurved which belong to the Vedic tradition are rooted in nature. In spite of spectacular advances in medical science, “modern” man is a victim of a host of chronic health problems like hypertension, diabetes, chronic pains and insomnia. The primary cause of these problems is our artificial lifestyle that is away from and against the laws of nature. What does being healthy mean? Health is difficult to define, easy to appreciate and a joy to enjoy. Positive health means perfect functioning of body and mind and ability to enjoy healthy life in its various dimensions. WHO definition of health is “A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity”. It is a condition or quality expressing adequate functioning of the organism in a given situation. To this definition, WHO has added “spiritual wellbeing” also. However, it is not clear what spirituality means. Spirituality should not be confused with religion and this point has been discussed in the section on Spiritual Health and Healing: a Yogic Perspective. Physiological approach to the question of health is in terms of measurable, objective values. A person is healthy if his blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, blood glucose and other parameters are within normal physiological range. A healthy person is able to meet adequately the demands of his profession / work, i.e. as a teacher, a soldier or a farm hand. In a healthy person, dynamically interacting homeostatic (regulatory) mechanisms of unimaginable complexity maintain various body functions and parameters within normal physiological range. These mechanisms are less developed and easily taxed in newborn (especially premature) babies and the elderly. In ayurved, the term for health is “swasth”, i.e. one who is established and comfortable in his own being, a state of being whole and feeling whole. Acharya Sushrut (~ 600 BC) has given poetically beautiful and philosophically holistic definition of health thus: “Health is a state of balance of elements, optimum digestion and elimination and happy senses, mind and soul” (Samadoshah samagnishcha. Sushrut Samhita, Sutrasthanam, 15:41). Lifestyle is the way people live and this has immense influence on the status of health or disease. Since one’s lifestyle is developed early in life, it is advisable to cultivate healthy lifestyle in early childhood. Many factors determine one’s lifestyle. Economic status determines incidence of under-nutrition in poor and obesity in the rich. Cultural values of the society dictate the incidence of vegetarianism in the population. Sedentary life is a major factor for coronary artery disease while personal habits like smoking and alcoholism determine the incidence of heart disease and cirrhosis of liver. Exercise, healthy diet and rest and relaxation are important components of lifestyle. From the yogic point of view, proper posture and brahmacharya are very important components of one’s lifestyle. Yog is the most perfect lifestyle module as it is comprehensive and holistic in its nature. Yog for healthy lifestyle: Yog is a scientific–spiritual discipline and conscious evolution of our physical, mental and spiritual aspects. Its ultimate aim is to become divine by achieving unity with the all- pervading Divine Consciousness. According to Sri Aurobindo, “All life is yog” because yog is a philosophy that can be applied to everyday activities of our daily life. The ancient marvel of yog which is the most precious gem of our cultural heritage has been preserved despite centuries of stagnation and suppression due to brutal foreign invasions. And now it is our duty to promote and propagate it for the benefit of entire humanity. Yog is holistic and its relevance is universal. It is the best means for improving our health as well as preventing and managing stress and stress disorders which are unmanageable by our health care delivery system. According to materialistic view, we are essentially a body that has a mind. On the other hand, from the spiritual and yogic point of view, we are spiritual beings having human experience. In other words, we are an individual soul that has two beautiful instruments, body and mind. These three entities, i.e. soul, body and mind continuously and Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 19
  19. 19. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 dynamically interact with, and influence each other. Yog has profound influence on our total health and personality because it has desirable effect on all the three aspects of our being. Yog is holistic in nature since it is science, philosophy as well as art. It has promotive, preventive as well as curative potential. Its effect is augmentative as it improves our physical, mental as well as spiritual health. Yog is a time-tested and safe tradition. Compared to other modes of health intervention, it has many advantages. It is economical in terms of time, energy and resources. Being holistic, it is ideal for our horizontal, in-depth as well as vertical development. For prevention as well as management of stress and stress disorders, there is no method as effective and as far-reaching as yog. That is why Yogeshwar Krishn describes the superiority of a yogi in unambiguous terms (Tapasvibhyo adhiko yogi. Bhagavadgita, 6:46). Proper posture: From yogic point of view, proper posture and movement are important components of healthy lifestyle. Posture is a manifestation of physical and mental balance and has powerful influence on physical aging and mental mood. Good posture is very important for energetic and active life. When you are stooped, you look old and feel old. Do not think that slumped posture is natural to old age. So, lift yourself against the physical weight of gravity and mental weight of aging. Whether sitting or standing, maintain a good, firmly upright but comfortable and relaxed posture as asan should be firm but comfortable (Sthir sukham asanam. Yog Darshan). Stand and move with grace and vigor and do not tighten your muscles stiff in unwanted and awkward position. Of the 700 muscles that we have, good posture needs only 5 key muscles. Yogic posture is ergonomically appropriate and physiologically sound. Therefore, avoid poor posture and slouching in a chair as it: i) Distorts alignment of bones and creates more pressure on lower back. ii) Tenses muscles resulting in muscle pain and stiffness of joints. iii) Interferes with breathing and decreases vital capacity. iv) Interferes with circulation and oxygen delivery to brain resulting in poor concentration and drowsiness. v) Results in poor digestion and constipation. vi) Decreases productivity and accelerates aging. Yog improves physiological functions: Human body is a beautifully robust mechanism capable of taking care of itself. Yog assists this process and improves our physiological functions and health. Scientific research has shown that yogic techniques produce consistent and beneficial physiological changes and have sound scientific basis (Wallace RK. Science, 167: 1751, 1970; Madanmohan et al. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 36: 229, 1992). Even a few weeks of yog training can improve physiological and psychological functions. Practice of asans and pranayams results in overall improvement in physical fitness and cardio-respiratory functions. We have reported that yog training for 3 months produces a significant increase in respiratory pressures, breath holding times and hand-grip strength (Madanmohan et al. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 36: 229, 1992). This indicates an improved physical strength and cardio-respiratory function. In the same study, we also found a significant decrease in visual and auditory reaction times after the yog training. This indicates a faster and more efficient information processing by the brain. We have also reported that after yog training, exercise-induced stress to cardio- vascular system in less severe (Madanmohan et al. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 48:461,2004 ). This means that yog training can enable one to tolerate more severe exercise load. Other workers have found that yog training produces a significant improvement in dexterity scores and motor speed (Manjunath & Telles, Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 43: 225, 1999; Dash & Telles, Ibid, 43: 458, 1999). Yogis are capable of remarkable feats of endurance (Vakil RJ. The Lancet, 2: 871, 1950) and control of their autonomic functions (Chhina GS, Proc International Union Physiol Sci, 10: 103, 1974). Yog for mental health: Just as our body requires physical exercise, balanced diet and bathing for good health, our mind requires inner discipline for mental health. Ordinary mind is a clutter of uncontrolled thoughts. Meditation (dhyan) is the ideal way to calm the mind. Meditation is the inner (antarang) yogic discipline in which there is a continuous flow of thought towards a higher spiritual ideal in a higher spiritual center of our consciousness. It makes the mind one-pointed and produces psychosomatic relaxation. Meditation is not an ordinary concentration. It is a special kind of concentration based on the first two steps of ashtang yog. Thess two steps are i) yam or five moral virtues and ii) niyam or five spiritual discipline. Jap or repetition of holy name is very effective in achieving success in meditation. Jap should be done in a spirit of love and adoration as mystic worship and not in a mechanical way. Thus performed, jap and dyan are higher forms of worship to which our body, mind and soul, the whole being respond with better health and healing power. That is the secret of the power of yog. For success in dyan and to get attached to the universal Divine Consciousness, we have to create proper mood and loosen our worldly attachments. This attainment of unity and realization of identity is the goal of yog. In this state, our inner soul is freed from the thralldom of ego, mind and senses. Then problems of the world do not disturb our inner harmony. This is the basis of sound mental health, 20 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  20. 20. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 a distinguishing characteristic of a yog sadhak. Yog is equanimity (Samatvam yog uchyate. Bhagavadgita, 2: 48) and evenness of temper is the essential feature of mental health. Spiritual health and healing: a yogic perspective: Human body is the highest and best creation of the Divine and an instrument for performing noble deeds (Sharir madyam khalu dharm sadhanam). That is why Vedic Rishis have called this body has Devapuri and Ayodhya (Asht chakra navadwara devanam poorvayodhya. Atharvaved, 10: 2: 31). Our body-mind-soul complex is the real temple of the Divine. By yog sadhana, we should keep it fit, clean and pure and seek the Divine within. Spiritual healing is curing a disease by non-physical means, i.e. through powers outside medical intervention. By prayer, meditation and therapeutic touch, the healer channels Divine healing energy that improves patient’s life force (pran shakti). There are claims that spiritual healing hastens recovery and even hopelessly ill patients can recover miraculously. Faith, i.e. belief in a higher universal Divine power is the basis of the spirituality. Faith is what your heart tells you is true when you intellect cannot prove it. One can have faith in a religion or in eternal universal Truth called as Rit in Vedic language. It may be noted that spirituality is distinct from religion. Religion is a particular belief system and mode of worship. Religions are many, but spirituality is one. Religion may nurture spirituality, but spirituality does not depend on it. Prayer is another important component of spiritual life. Prayer can lift the mind and soothe the soul. Prayer enhances health and promotes healing of self and others. It is a medical secret - prayer heals. Performing actions and one’s duty with a spirit of selfless service (Nishkam karmyog of Bhagavadgita) is an important component of spiritual life. A person who believes in all-pervading universal Divine power feels connected not only to everyone, but to all forms of life and the whole creation. This promotes universal love which is distinct from selfish romantic love. A person who has these spiritual qualities is an asset to the whole society. Health benefits of spirituality are significant. Faith in higher Spiritual power relieves one of cares, anxieties and stress and promotes calmness and tranquility. Consequently, his heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tone, oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production decrease. Even his cholesterol decreases over a period of time. Spirituallyoriented people get sick less often. They recover faster in case they fall sick. It is claimed that patients recover better if family and friends pray for them. Spirituality also decreases the incidence of stroke and death from heart disease and increases survival after surgery. Spirituality helps to prevent / overcome bad habits because spirituality is considered to be bigger than these. As a result, there is increase in longevity and quality of life. Here it is interesting to note that Benson (New England Journal of Medicine, 281: 1133, 1969) has reported that transcendental meditation (TM) can help one to kick off drug addiction, which is a serious problem among the “modern” youth. Power of pranayam: It needs to be emphasized that slow and deep pranayam breathing has a powerful influence on our wellbeing. A simple exercise to relieve stress and promote wellbeing is to straighten and mildly arch your spine as you inhale (purak) slowly and sequentially and then exhale (rechak) as you bend forward and round your back. It is claimed that pranayam reduces obesity and purifies the body. According to Patanjali, pranayam destroys the covering of inner light and the mind gains the power concentration (Yog Darshan, 2: 52-53). Manusmriti (6: 71) says that pranayam purifies the impurities of senses and the mind. From the physiological point of view, slow and deep breathing (as in mahat yog pranayam) has the following advantages: i) It is economical as it reduces dead space ventilation. ii) All the muscles of respiration are strengthened. iii) Different parts of the chest and lungs are stretched, improving their flexibility. iv) Abdominal viscera are gently massaged by the descending diaphragm. v) Venous return (blood flow) to heart is improved. vi) Mind-body coordination (thereby health) is improved. There is evidence that pranayam has therapeutic potential. In an interesting work from our laboratories, we have demonstrated that subjects trained in yog can achieve a state of deep psychosomatic relaxation and significant decrease in oxygen consumption within 5 minutes of practicing savitri pranayam (Madanmohan et al. The Yoga Review, 3: 25,1983). Savitri pranayam is a slow, deep and rhythmic breathing in which the ratio between purak, kumbhak, rechak and shunyak (bahya kumbhak) is 2:1:2:1. Telles and Desiraju ( Indian Journal of Medical Research, 94: 357, 1991) also have demonstrated that pranayam can decrease oxygen consumption significantly. More recently, we have demonstrated the beneficial effect of pranayam in patients having premature ventricular complexes and palpitation (Prakash et al. International Journal of Cardiology, 111: 450, 2006; Ravindra et al. Ibid, 108: 124, 2006). It is clear that the power of Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 21
  21. 21. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 pranayam is available to us freely. Let us use it for the benefit of the humanity. Yog for prevention and management of stress: The all- pervasive stress and stress disorders are the bane of modern society. The main cause of stress among the affluent sections is material progress without a parallel development of inner, spiritual resources and this results in deep rooted conflicts and disharmony. Healthy balance between worldly enjoyment (bhog) and detachment (tyag) is good for mental health. This point is beautifully taught in a Vedic verse thus: “This whole universe is pervaded by Ishwar. Enjoy this world with a sense of detachment and do not covet the wealth of others” (Ishavasyam idam sarvam. Yajurved, 40: 1). Chronic stress results in disturbance of mental and physical equilibrium. The consequence is a host of chronic disorders like hypertension, angina, diabetes mellitus, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel, chronic pains, insomnia and cancers. It is alarming that the incidence of these lifestyle diseases is increasing in India. The problem is more marked in urban areas where people are living a routine of daily rat race. Over-ambitious, ever-struggling and restless persons (type “A” personality) are more prone to stress disorders. They can be screened in their early life by psychophysiological tests and taught yog relaxation techniques as a preventive measure. Yog has a comprehensive and holistic approach to health and is the best treatment for stress and stress disorders. A judicious combination of simple stretching asans, slow rhythmic pranayams, yog nidra and dhyan is most effective and ideal for prevention and management of stress. Mantr (e.g. AUM) chanting, jap and bhajan singing, especially in a dedicated group (satsang) are very effective for managing stress and improving mental health. Yogeshwar Krishn gives a very high place to jap and bhajan singing when he says “Among the offerings, I am the offering of jap (Yajnanam jap yajnosmi, Bhagavadgita, 10: 25) and “He is the best yogi who worships Me by bhajan singing (Shraddhavan bhajate yo maam, Bhagavadgita, 6: 47). Many workers have demonstrated the effectiveness of yogic techniques in the control of blood pressure and hypertension ( Selvamurthy et al. Ind J Physiol Pharmacol, 42: 205, 1998: Datey et al. Angiology, 20: 325, 1969). Yog lays great stress on proper diet, a distinctive feature of which is emphasis on purity (satvik ahar) and moderation (mitahar). Overeating is a form of malnutrition that results in conditions like obesity, diabetes mellitus, and arthritis. Yogeshwar Krishn emphasizes the importance of regulation in diet, recreation, sleep-wakefulness and other activities for the yog sadhak (Yuktahar viharasya. Bhagavadgita, 6: 17). Chhandogya Upanishd emphasizes the importance of purity of diet for our inner purity (Ahar shuddhou satva shuddhi. 7: 26: 2). Purity of mind results in improved mental health and freedom from psycho-somatic disorders. It is clear that yogic lifestyle is very effective for prevention as well as management of stress and stress disorders. 22 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  22. 22. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 PROFILE Yogacharya S SRIDHARAN Trustee, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram; Member, Governing Body of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi S Sridharan is a senior student of the renowned yoga teacher TKV Desikachar. He has been a dedicated student of his teacher since 1981, when he was working as a banker for one of India’s largest banks. Over the course of his career, as his interest in Yoga became more profound, he began to be involved in the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM),Chennai, India, initially as a teacher and then as a consultant. In the mid-1990’s he quit his position as Vice President of the bank, to become fully involved in the KYM. He served the KYM as the Managing Trustee for over eight years, bringing extra ordinary changes including the obtaining of the ISO 9000 certification, that make the KYM a truly professional organization, ready to carry on the teachings of yoga into the next generation. Sridharan is one of the senior mentors of the teachers of the KYM, especially in the areas of meditation, classical texts; apart from Yoga Therapy. He is currently Trustee of KYM, Member of the Governing Body of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi and Member of the Governing Committee of Raja Veda Patasala, Kumbakonam. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 23
  23. 23. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 YOGIC LIFESTYLE Yogacharya S SRIDHARAN “Life Style”, in simple terms, is a modern day usage to connote how one is spending time including the behavior and attitudes. This is related to the purpose of life as envisioned by an individual. Mostly the purpose of life is limited by the station of life, i.e. student, employment and earning, family life and retirement. Today, a student wants to get good grades and thus focuses on the marks/grades. Even, studying is oriented towards that goal and particularly to place one at the gateway of employment. The purpose of employment is directly linked to the earnings, which in turn is to increase the comforts of life. Today a family life is a social compulsion. At every stage there are limited goals and thus ‘life style’ is linked to the goals. A student today spends more time in the night to study and the cycle of the day is thus changed. There is hardly any time for physical activity leave alone good exercise pattern. An employed person’s clock is decided by his employer and often it could relate to a different time zone. A family person has hardly time left to introspect. The ancients put the station of life under the term ‘Ashrama’ and divided it as, Brahmacharya, Grahasta, VAnaprasta and Sanyasa. The ancient model of ‘Ashrama’ was based on the four purpose of life (purushArtAs) which are “dharma, artha, kAma and moksha”, which can translate to “discipline, wealth, desire and liberation”. The ultimate purpose of life for the ancients was “liberation”, liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Thus the ancient ‘life style’ took into account the ultimate purpose of ‘liberation’ without compromising on the pleasure of living within the discipline. There are various paths for ‘liberation’ and one can choose according to their background, taste and ability. One can choose the path of action or path of knowledge or path of devotion or path of total surrender. However, any of these paths need the basic discipline and this is provided by “Yoga”; the discipline at the body and mind level. Without this discipline no one can progress in any of these paths. They merely become attempts often leading to frustration. Yoga has a well laid out path of discipline structured to address all the dimensions of the human system, i.e. annamaya (body), prANamaya (breath), manomaya (mind), vigyanamaya (ego/intellect) and anandamaya (emotion). Yogic lifestyle thus disciplines the practitioner at all the levels and makes him/her fit for undertaking the spiritual path. Even if one does not have a spiritual inclination mere ‘yogic lifestyle’ will lead the person on the path of realisation, by providing a healthy body and mind. A healthy and perfect mind is the best tool for ‘Self realisation’. There are various models of ‘yogic lifestyle’ based on various traditions and the path of realisation. From the Vedas, Sages culled out the points required for ‘life style’ and gave them in the form of ‘Agamas’ and ‘kalpa sUtras’. There are various divisions in them based on the particular Veda, i.e. Rg, Yajur, Sama or Atharva or the particular deity such as Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti, etc. All of them have certain common regulations such as what should be done in what part of the day, etc. For all these regulations, there are certain common activities which will include Yogic tools of Asana, Pranayama and Dhyana. One such model is called “Panca kAla ParAyanam”, which literally means “the activities to be filled with in the five parts of the day”. This is a part of the “PAncha RAtra Agama”. Here a day is divided into 5 parts and the activities are assigned to each part. Part of the day (1) Early morning (2) Forenoon (3) Noon (4) Afternoon (5) Night 24 What is to be done Getting up and getting prepared for the day Collect things required for worship or spending time for earning things Worship Study of scriptures towards ‘Self Realisation’ Yoga (Here the word denotes sleep when the Individual Self merges with the Supreme Self ) Name in the Agama Abhigamanam UpAdAnam Ijya SvAdhyaya Yoga Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  24. 24. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 This model, even though it is practiced by a limited number of people in some form or other, cannot have direct relevance for practicing in the same way. But this can be adapted. A yogic life style is not just practice of yoga in the morning or in some part of the day depending upon the convenience. It is to integrate the yoga quantitatively and qualitatively into every part of the day. For example, in the above said model, practice of Asana, Pranayama and Dhyana will be found in at least four parts of the day except in the second part which is the part of employment. Here also the principles of Yama will be observed. The Early morning part will have a large portion of Sun Meditation including doing postures, breathing and meditation. In the Noon, worship will include largely meditation. In the afternoon, there will be recitation of scriptures and in the night a small Pranayama to end the day. To adapt it to modern life style will be to take up practice of a full length course of Asana and Pranayama and Meditation first thing in the morning. This can include Surya Namaskar and important postures such as MahAmudra, etc. The Pranayama could be “Nadi Sodhana Pranayama”. On return one can do a Pranayama course aimed at ‘unwinding’ and ‘relaxation’. This will have a longer exhalation and hold and can be “Chandra bhedana Pranayama”. Before hitting the bed, one can do a small Meditation to end the day properly and prepare for the next day. This can include relaxation of parts of the body and visualizing a nice natural scene or form of Divinity of choice and hear soothing music. A yogic life style, adapted to an individual, is possible in today’s contest and will bestow the benefit of a good physical and mental health turning one inwards towards ‘Self Realisation’ by still being a part of family life. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 25
  25. 25. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 PROFILE Dr. LATHA SATISH MA,M.Phil,PhD in Psychology and Dip in Yoga (KYM).Former Research Scientist,Dept of Psychology,University of Madras. Consultant Psychologist and yoga teacher. Currently Managing Trustee, KYM, Chennai. Latha Satish is a doctorate in Psychology had her initial yoga training in the BKS Iyengar tradition. Marriage and career brought her to Chennai (1981) where she continued her passion for yoga under her guru Sri T.K.V Desikachar. Her doctoral work in health psychology melded with her interest in the role of yoga as a health management tool. Her dissertation on the role of yoga in management of hypertension and other stress related problems only strengthened her belief that yoga is an important tool to develop health. During this period of continuing with research she also studied with Desikachar texts like Yoga Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Hatayoga Pradipika etc and started teaching part time at KYM. She formally completed the teacher training in yoga at KYM in 1990.The association with Desikachar afforded her the opportunity to take practical experiences to her scientific research and apply research based findings in her extensive practice. During her tenure as Research scientist in the department of psychology ,University of Madras she completed many Funded research projects, guided PhD scholars exploring an integration of yoga and health psychology. She has published 30 research papers and continues to guide projects.Her close association with her guru inspired her teaching style. He often told her that research could not ‘capture’ the intangible miraculous changes that take place because of yoga practice. His insistence on the complexity of human life and existence and his faith and conviction in his father’s teachings instilled the importance of care and building relationships with care seekers.TVK Desikachar gave her a vast source of knowledge in yoga, meditation, contemplation, Indian culture and philosophy. Today she continues her search about yoga and its influences on the human condition. She provides yoga therapy and shares her knowledge with other yoga teachers. She is passionate about yoga research and supervises several research projects. She heads the premier institute – Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, on the request of her teacher. 26 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  26. 26. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 YOGA: THE ORIGINAL MIND BODY MEDICINE Dr. LATHA SATISH Managing Trustee, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai. Email: The Mind –Body connections, interactions and miracles in onset of disease, its progression, in healing and rehabilitation is a recent phenomenon in modern medicine. Experts in the fields of immunology, neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry and epidemiology have recognized that 70-80% of problems or sufferings that human encounter lies at the mind body interactions and the solution is also dictated by the same interplay of psycho physiological systems. Emergence of the terms like- holistic medicine, caring, healing rather than curing, patient doctor communication, faith, spirituality, alternative therapies and complementary medicine are testimony to the role of mind body medicine as the field that is defining the strategies of health promotion, maintenance and management These trends are of very recent origin dating back to the pioneer work in the field of stress, researches in yoga more specifically in meditation and also contribution of psycho-neuro-immunology. The origin and roots of the mind body link, its interactions and implication for medicine can be traced to the Indian cultural heritage ie Veda-s and particularly the philosophy and practice of yoga. Sage patanjali has profounder this knowledge in the form of “sutra-s” (Brief aphorisms), and is accepted as the most authoritative text. Yoga sutra presents the concept of mind, senses, consciousness and the interplay of these entities.-thus represents the psychology that originated in India. How Yoga of Patanjali facilitates the knowledge of mind and body and its implication for therapy? This is clearly delineated in the concept of Mind as a Matter, which is different from Consciousness and thus gives scope to regulate and control mind. Mind which is characterized by the three guna-s, can be agitated and consequences of this can be felt at body, breath, thought level. The suggestions of different mental afflictions and the body breath oriented methods to pacify the mind is solutions which covers the holistic perspective in providing therapy Somatic oriented practices, life styles, attitudes and its consequence on the mind and mind oriented practices and its impact on the body is extensively presented in yoga sutra and related scriptures. The great masters of the century have been models who demonstrated the practice of yoga as mind body medicine and kept these traditions alive. Today science is trying to explore this connection and is able to demonstrate its benefits. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 27
  27. 27. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 PROFILE Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani MBBS, ADY, DPC, DSM, PGDFH, PGDY, FIAY, MD (Alt.Med) Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani is Chairman of the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry, India ( He is also chairman of Yoganjali Natyalayam, the premier institute of Yoga and Carnatic Music and Bharatanatyam in Pondicherry (www. He is son and successor of the internationally acclaimed Yoga team of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and Yogacharini Kalaimamani Ammaji, Smt Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani. He is a Gold Medalist in Medical Studies (MBBS) with postgraduate diplomas in both Family Health (PGDFH) as well as Yoga (PGDY) and the Advanced Diploma in Yoga under his illustrious parents in 1991-93. A Fellow of the Indian Academy of Yoga, he has authored 19 DVDs and 23 books on Yoga as well as published more than a hundred papers, compilations and abstracts on Yoga and Yoga research in National and International Journals. He is a Classical Indian Vocalist, Percussionist, Music Composer and Choreographer of Indian Classical Dance in addition to his duties as Deputy Director of the Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research (CYTER), MGMCRI, Pondicherry. In recent years he has travelled abroad 13 times and conducted invited talks, public events, workshops, retreats and been major presenter at Yoga conferences in the UK, USA, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. He is an Honorary International Advisor to the International Association of Yoga Therapists (, Australian Association of Yoga Therapists ( and various Gitananda Yoga Associations all over the world ( ). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for Yoga Accreditation International ( 28 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  28. 28. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 PSYCHOSOMATIC MECHANISMS OF YOGA Yogacharya Dr. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI Deputy Director, CYTER, MGMCRI, SBVU and Chairman ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry. Email: and Yoga is the original mind-body medicine that has enabled individuals to attain and maintain sukha sthanam, a dynamic sense of physical, mental and spiritual well being. Bhagavad-Gita defines Yoga as samatvam meaning thereby that Yoga is equanimity at all levels, a state wherein physical homeostasis and mental equanimity occur in a balanced and healthy harmony. Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj, the visionary founder of Ananda Ashram at the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER) in Pondicherry and one of the foremost authorities on Yoga in the past century, has explained the concept of Yoga Chikitsa (Yoga as a therapy) in the following lucid manner. “Yoga Chikitsa is virtually as old as Yoga itself, indeed, the ‘return of mind that feels separated from the Universe in which it exists’ represents the first Yoga therapy. Yoga Chikitsa could be termed as “man’s first attempt at unitive understanding of mind-emotions-physical distress and is the oldest wholistic concept and therapy in the world.” To achieve this Yogic integration at all levels of our being, it is essential that we take into consideration the all encompassing multi dimensional aspects of Yoga that include the following: a healthy life nourishing diet, a healthy and natural environment, a wholistic lifestyle, adequate bodywork through Asanas, Mudras and Kriyas, invigorating breath work through the use of Pranayama and the production of a healthy thought process through the higher practices of Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. PSYCHOSOMATIC DISORDERS: The Nirvana Prakarana of the Laghu Yoga Vashishta, one of the ancient Yoga Texts describes in detail the origin and destruction of mental and bodily diseases. Sage Vashishta teaches Lord Rama that there are two major classifications of disease. Those that are caused by the mind are primary (adhija vyadhi, the psychosomatic, stress disorders) while those that afflict the body directly are secondary (anadhija vyadhi, infectious disease, accidents etc). The primary disease has two sub divisions. These are the samanya (ordinary physical diseases) and the Sara (the essential disorder of rebirth that may only be destroyed by atma jnana or knowledge of the Divine Self ). Samanya diseases are the ones that affect us physically and may be destroyed by the correction of the mind-body disharmony. It is in these psychosomatic disorders that the actual practical application of Yoga practices as a mode of therapy can be very useful. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 29
  29. 29. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 From the Yogic viewpoint of disease it can be seen that psychosomatic, stress related disorders appear to progress through four distinct phases. These can be understood as follows: 1. Psychic Phase: This phase is marked by mild but persistent psychological and behavioural symptoms of stress like irritability, disturbed sleep and other minor symptoms. This phase can be correlated with vijnanamaya and manomaya koshas. Yoga as a mind body therapy is very effective in this phase. 2. sychosomatic Phase: If the stress continues there is an increase in symptoms, along with the appearance of P generalized physiological symptoms such as occasional hypertension and tremors. This phase can be correlated with manomaya and pranamaya koshas. Yoga as a mind body therapy is very effective in this phase. 3. omatic Phase: This phase is marked by disturbed function of organs, particularly the target, or involved organ. S At this stage one begins to identify the diseased state. This phase can be correlated with pranamaya and annamaya koshas. Yoga as a therapy is less effective in this phase and may need to be used in conjunction with other methods of treatment. 4. rganic Phase: This phase is marked by full manifestation of the diseased state, with pathological changes such O as an ulcerated stomach or chronic hypertension, becoming manifest in their totality with their resultant complications. This phase can be correlated with the annamaya kosha as the disease has become fixed in the physical body. Yoga 30 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  30. 30. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 as a therapy has a palliative and ‘quality of life improving’ effect in this phase. It also has positive emotional and psychological effects even in terminal and end of life situations. POTENTIALITIES: Extensive research on Yoga being done all over the world has shown promise with regard to various disorders and diseases that seem to be amiable to Yoga therapy (,, ). These include psychosomatic, stress disorders such as bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, gastro intestinal ulcer diseases, atherosclerosis, seizure disorder and headache. It also includes physical disorders such as heart disease, lung disease, and mental retardation. Psychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and substance abuse can also be managed along with other therapies. Musculoskeletal disorders such as lumbago, spondylosis, sciatica and carpel tunnel syndrome can be tackled effectively with Yoga practices that offer a lot of hope in metabolic disorders such as thyroid and other endocrine disorders, immune disorders, obesity and the modern metabolic syndrome. It is well established that stress weakens our immune system. Scientific research in recent times has showed that the physiological, psychological and biochemical effects of Yoga are of an anti-stress nature. Mechanisms postulated included the restoration of autonomic balance as well as an improvement in restorative, regenerative and rehabilitative capacities of the individual. A healthy inner sense of wellbeing produced by a life of Yoga percolates down through the different levels of our existence from the higher to the lower producing health and wellbeing of a holistic nature. Streeter et al (2012) recently proposed a theory to explain the benefits of Yoga practices in diverse, frequently comorbid medical conditions based on the concept that Yoga practices reduce allostatic load in stress response systems such that optimal homeostasis is restored. They hypothesized that stress induces an: 1. mbalance of the ANS with decreased parasympathetic and increased sympathetic activity, I U 2. nder activity of the gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) system, the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter system, and I 3. ncreased allostatic load. They further hypothesized that Yoga-based practices C 1. orrect underactivity of the parasympathetic nervous system and GABA systems in part through stimulation of the vagus nerves, the main peripheral pathway of the parasympathetic nervous system, and R 2. educe allostatic load. According to the theory proposed by Streeter and colleagues, the decreased parasympathetic nervous system and GABAergic activity that underlies stress-related disorders can be corrected by Yoga practices resulting in amelioration Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 31
  31. 31. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 of disease symptoms. HRV testing has a great role to play in our understanding intrinsic mechanisms behind such potential effects of Yoga. Innes et al had earlier (2005) also postulated two interconnected pathways (given below) by which Yoga reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases through mechanisms of parasympathetic activation coupled with decreased reactivity of sympathoadrenal system and HPA axis. PSYCHOSOMATIC MECHANISMS OF YOGA: Yoga understands the influence of the mind on the body as well as that of the body on the mind. This is the principle of adhi-vyadhi elucidated in the Yoga Vasishta more than 5000 years ago! It is interesting that modern medicine has only realised this connection in the last hundred years whereas Yogic of India were teaching and practising it for thousands of years. No wonder Yoga may be considered as the original mind-body medicine. We are what we think, yet we also start to think that which we do. Yogic concepts and techniques enable the development of right attitudes towards life and enable us to correct the numerous internal and external imbalances we suffer due to our wrong lifestyle/ genetic potential. Yoga enables us to take responsibility for our own health and happiness and as Swami Gitananda Giri would say, “If you want to be healthy do healthy things, if you want to be happy do happy things”. The following are just a few of the mechanisms through which Yoga can be said to work as an integrated mindbody medicine: 1. leanses the accumulated toxins through various shuddi kriyas and generates a sense of relaxed lightness C through jathis and vyayama type activities. Free flow in all bodily passages prevents the many infections that may occur when pathogens stagnate therein. A 2. doption of a Yogic lifestyle with proper nourishing diet, creates positive antioxidant enhancement thus neutralizing free radicals while enabling a rejuvenative storehouse of nutrients packed with life energy to work on anabolic, reparative and healing processes . S 3. teadies the entire body through different physical postures held in a steady and comfortable manner without strain. Physical balance and a sense of ease with oneself enhance mental / emotional balance and enable all physiological processes to occur in a healthy manner. I 4. mproves control over autonomic respiratory mechanisms though breathing patterns that generate energy and enhance emotional stability. The mind and emotions are related to our breathing pattern and rate and hence the slowing down of the breathing process influences autonomic functioning, metabolic processes as well as emotional responses. I 5. ntegrates body movements with the breath thus creating psychosomatic harmony. In Yoga the physical body is related to annamaya kosha (our anatomical existence) and the mind to manomaya kosha (our psychological existence). As the pranayama kosha (our physiological existence sustained by the energy of the breath) lies in between them, the breath is the key to psychosomatic harmony. F 6. ocuses the mind positively on activities being done, thus enhancing energy flow and resultant healthy circulation to the different body parts and internal organs. Where the mind goes, there the prana flows! C 7. reates a calm internal environment through contemplative practices that in turn enable normalization of homeostatic mechanisms. Yoga is all about balance or samatvam at all levels of being. Mental balance produces physical balance and vice versa too. R 8. elaxes the body-emotion-mind complex through physical and mental techniques that enhance our pain threshold and coping ability in responding to external and internal stressors. This enhances the quality of life as seen in so many terminal cases where other therapies are not able to offer any solace. E 9. nhances self confidence and internal healing capacities through the cultivation of right attitudes towards life and moral-ethical living through yama-niyama and various Yogic psychological principles. Faith, self confidence and inner strength are most essential if at all we wish for healing, repair, rejuvenation and re-invigoration. Yoga works towards restoration of normalcy in all systems of the human body with special emphasis 10. on the psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrine axis. In addition to its preventive and restorative capabilities, Yoga also aims at promoting positive health that will help us to tide over health challenges that occur during our lifetime. This concept of positive health is one of Yoga’s unique contributions to modern healthcare as Yoga has both a preventive as well as promotive role in the healthcare of our masses. It is also inexpensive and can be used in tandem with other systems of medicine in an integrated manner to benefit patients. 32 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  32. 32. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 NEED FOR COORDINATION: The need of the modern age is to have an integrated approach towards therapy and to utilize Yoga therapy in coordination and collaboration with other systems of medicine such as Allopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha and Naturopathy. Physiotherapy and Chiropractic practices may be used with the Yoga if needed. Advice on diet and lifestyle is very important irrespective of the mode of therapy that is employed for a particular patient. A WORD OF CAUTION: A word of caution is also required. Though Yoga and Yoga therapy are very useful in bringing about a state of total health it is not a miracle cure for all problems. It needs a lot of discrimination on the part of both the therapist as well as the patient. It may not be useful in emergency conditions and there is a strong need to consult a qualified medical doctor where in doubt. Each patient is different and so the therapy has to be molded to suit the individual needs rather than relying on a specific therapy plan for patients suffering the same medical condition. A very true problem is that there is a different approach of the different schools of Yoga to the same condition. It is better to follow any one system that one is conversant with, rather than trying to mix systems in a “Yogic Cocktail’. One must also be vigilant as there is a strong presence of numerous quacks pretending to be Yoga therapists and this leads to a bad name for Yoga therapy as well as Yoga in general. CONCLUSION: The dedicated practice of Yoga as a way of life is no doubt a panacea for problems related to psychosomatic, stress related physical, emotional and mental disorders and helps us regain our birthright of health and happiness. It is only when we are healthy and happy that we can fulfill our destiny. With the adoption of a proper attitude and lifestyle through the Yogic way of life, we can rise above our own circumstances and our life can blossom as a time of variety, creativity, and fulfillment. Yoga helps us regain the ease we had lost through dis-ease (as implied by sthira sukham asanam-PYS). It also produces mental equanimity (samatvam yoga uchyate-BG) where the opposites cease to affect (tato dwandwa anabhigatha-PYS). This enables us to move from a state of illness and disease to one of health and well being that ultimate allows us to move from the lower animal nature to the higher human nature and finally the highest Divine Nature that is our birthright. REFERENCES AND RECOMMENDED READING: 1. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. A Primer of Yoga Theory. Dhivyananda Creations, Iyyanar Nagar, Pondicherry. 2008. 2. Back issues of International Journal of Yoga Therapy. Journal of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, USA. 3. Back issues of Yoga Life, Monthly Journal of ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry. 4. Back issues of Yoga Mimamsa. Journal of Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla, Maharashtra, USA. 5. Innes KE, Bourguignon C, Taylor AG. Risk indices associated with the insulin resistance syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and possible protection with yoga: a systematic review. J Am Board Fam Pract 2005;18: 491-519. 6. Srimad Bhagavad Gita by Swami Swarupananda. Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata. 2007 7. Streeter CC, Gerbarg PL, Saper RB, Ciraulo DA, Brown RP. Effects of yoga on the autonomic nervous system, gamma-aminobutyric-acid, and allostasis in epilepsy, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Med Hypotheses 2012; 78:571-9. 8. The Supreme Yoga: Yoga Vashista. Swami Venkatesananda. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd. Delhi. 2007 9. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. Yoga for health and healing. Dhivyananda Creations, Iyyanar Nagar, Pondicherry. 2008. 10. Anantharaman TR. Ancient Yoga and Modern Science. Mushiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, New Delhi. 1996 11. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. Yoga Chikitsa-Application of Yoga as a Therapy Dhivyananda Creations, Iyyanar Nagar, Pondicherry. 2013. 12. Yoga: Step-by-Step. A 52 lesson Correspondence Course by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 33
  33. 33. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 Ananda Ashram at ICYER, Pondicherry. 13. The Forceful Yoga (being the translation of the Hathayoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita and Siva Samhita). Translated into English by Pancham Sinh, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu and Romanized and edited by Dr GP Bhatt. Mothilal Banarsidas Publishers Private Limited, Delhi. 2004. 14. Yoga the Science of Holistic Living. Vivekananda Kendra Patrika. Vol. 17- 2. 1988. 15. Taimni IK. The Science of Yoga. The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai.1961 16. Meena Ramanathan. Thiruvalluvar on Yogic Concepts. Aarogya Yogalayam, Venkateswara Nagar, Saram, Pondicherry-13.2007 17. Swami Satyananda Saraswathi. Four Chapters on Freedom. Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, India. 1999 18. Nagarathna R and Nagendra HR. Integrated approach of Yoga therapy for positive health. Swami Vivekananda Yoga Prakashana, Bangalore, India. 2001. 19. Healthy mind, healthy body. Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, India.1997. 20. Feuerstein Georg. The Shambala Guide to Yoga. Shambala Publications Inc, Boston, Massachusetts, and USA.1996. YOGA PRACTICES FOR PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF LIFESTYLE DISORDERS Yogacharya Dr. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI Stress is inevitable in the modern world because of the imbalance between the demands of one’s environment and one’s capabilities. In fact, it is the distress, which causes the problem and can be defined as every physical and mental tension that we experience as unpleasant. The environment today is more demanding. From childhood onwards, the development of capacities and capabilities of the individual is not able to keep pace with the increase of demands on them. This gap in most cases goes on widening. The huge crowds at Temples, churches and mosques in some way or the other are related to this imbalance. Everyone seems to be going there in order to beg or bribe the almighty to perform the balancing act. When we talk of stress we must also remember that some amount of stress is necessary in order to bring out the best in us. However it is vital to learn how to manage stress and keep it under our control. It is important to also remember the words of Epictetus in 60 A.D. who said, “Men are not disturbed by things, but the views, they take of them”. As Swamiji Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj jocularly used to say’ “You don’t have problems—you are the problem!” A positive frame of mind will help us to be cheerful and unstressed. Maharishi Patanjali’s advise in this regard to cultivate Pratipaksha Bhavanam (The Opposite View) is vital to achieve balance of the emotions and mind. It is also worth trying to follow his advice of Maitri-Sukha (Friendliness towards the happy), Karuna-Dukha (Compassion towards the suffering), Mudhita-Punya (Cheerfulness towards the virtuous) and Upekshanam-Apunya (Indifference towards the wicked). The most common causes of stress are the Shat Ripus or the six enemies of the spirit. These are Kama (Uncontrolled passion), Krodha (Senseless Anger), Lobha (Greed), Moha (Blind infatuation), Mada (Massive Ego) and Matsarya (Malice / envy). Corruption of character, conduct, thought and interpersonal dealing is another cause of stress. An environment where sadistic pleasure gives satisfaction, where ethics have little or scant regard, where selfinterest is more important and where under cutting and backbiting are a common feature, will surely lead to the development of extreme stress. It is important to realise these facts and be aware of them in our life. Unless we develop awareness and consciousness of what we think, feel and do, there cannot be a lasting solution to stress. We must strive to become persons of “Equal mindedness in all situations” that is described as Stitha Prajna or Samabhava in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Though stress probably cannot be avoided, it can, however, be managed. The following actions may help reduce/ eliminate the stress. 1. Awareness: It is important that we first become aware of the stress and then try to let it go. Sharing your tension with a friend and/or a family member may solve the problem to a great extent. You cannot wish away problems by nonacknowledgement of them. 2. Movement: Movement helps in reducing tension. This can mean walking, jumping, making noise, swimming and playing. Stress tends to accumulates in the joints and movement helps to dissipate it. Rotation of the neck and shoulders in many cases helps a lot. Some corporates have even established stress-relieving chambers where employees may shout, 34 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  34. 34. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 screams or hit a hanging pillow to relieve the pent up tension. 3. Yoga techniques: The regular practice of various Yoga techniques and inculcating the Yogic values in daily life will go a long way towards not only reducing the stress levels bit also in giving us that elusive “Peace of Mind”. Yogic relaxation practices such as Shavasana and Yoga Nidra help to create a sense of awareness and relaxation in the whole body as well as the mind. 4. Hobby: A hobby can help to relieve tension because it helps us to divert our mind from an unpleasant occurrence. Music, dance, painting, cooking and gardening are effective ways to take our mind to a different “Zone”. Playing with your pet can also help relieve tension and many people have ‘Thera-pets” or pets that help them therapeutically! 5. Breathing: Breathing is one of the easiest ways of relieving stress. Whenever you feel tension rising, take a few deep breaths and you will immediately feel the difference. 6. Attitude: It is important to “Let things lie” for sometime when facing problems and many situations resolve on their own. Other situations may appear smaller and less stressful after some time. Development of a detached attitude can also help us to have a better perception of situations and this in turn helps us to face them better. 7. Visualization: Visualization of a pleasant solution to the problems can also help a lot. This is quite different from daydreaming. This is widely adopted by players and athletes for improving their performance. After a stressful encounter, coolly sit in your chair, close your eyes and visualize the episode as an act of an ignorant person and excuse him for the incident. 8. Auto-Suggestion: Another mental technique is Positive self-suggestion. The negative thoughts are to be replaced with positive ones and an attitude of ‘I can and I will ‘ is to be developed. 9. Self effort: Stress is related to the individual’s environment and their tolerance capacity. As both of these are different in different people, each individual has to settle for their own method for managing their day-to-day problems. It must be clearly understood that we are responsible for our health and happiness and have a duty to take care of these Divine gifts. Swami Gitananda Giri used to often say, “Health and happiness are your birthright”. It is through our own efforts and will power that we can ultimately solve the problem of stress and achieve our birthrights. Yoga is an integrated way of life in which awareness and consciousness play a great part in guiding our spiritual evolution through life in the social system itself by understanding that “Yoga is the science and art of right-use-ness of body, emotions and mind”. BASIC WARMING UP PRACTICES Jattis are basic movements of the body parts that help to release pent up tensions in those parts. They increase circulation to the part and also the flow of Pranic energy is increased due to the movements. A few of these practices will be described now. Take up a comfortable standing position such as the Samasthiti Asana. Stand on one leg and shake the other leg. Repeat on the other side and then alternate a few times between right and left. Stand on both legs and start to shake your hands one at a time. Alternate between the right and left a few times and then start to shake both hands at the same time. Shake your hands and move them up, down, to the left and to the right. Shake your hands all around you in a circular movement. This helps to energize the Pranamaya Kosha, our energy sheath or subtle body. Come back to the standing position. Open the legs two feet apart and keep the hands on the hip. Move the torso in all four directions clock-wise and anti clock-wise in a grinding action. Then do it in a continuous manner. Bend forward and perform some toe touching with a bouncing action. Bounce to the front, and then move to your left. Move to your right and then come back to the front. Come back to the standing position. Spread your feet a bit and lift both your arms to the side. Start to twist your torso from side to side a few times. Feel the stretch in your hip region and back. Come back to the standing position and relax with deep breathing for some time. Sit down with both legs stretched out in front of you. Draw your right knee up to your chest and then kick out with a whooshing sound. Perform the same action on the left side. Continue to alternate legs for some time. Draw up both your knees and do the same action with a whooshing sound as you release the feet. Relax with your feet stretched out in front. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 35
  35. 35. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 SURYA NAMASKAR Rishikesh Surya Namaskar, the Yogic sun salutation is a series of twelve physical postures. These alternating backward and forward bending postures flex and stretch the spinal column through their maximum range giving a profound stretch to the whole body. The basic breathing principle is to inhale during upward and backward bending postures and exhale during forward bending postures. Stand erect with your feet close together. Perform Namaskar Mudra by joining your palms together in front of your chest. Breathe in and stretch your arms over your head into the Anjali Mudra and then arch your back. Feel the healthy stretch in your whole body. Breathe out and bend forward while keeping your arms and back in one line and as straight as possible. Perform the Pada Hasta Asana by bringing your head to your knees while keeping your hands on either side of your feet. Breathe in and extend your right leg back until it is straight as possible and you are balanced on your toes and hands. Your left leg should be bent with the sole flat on the ground. Lift your head and bend back and open up your chest. This is the Ashwa Sanchalana Asana, the equestrian posture. While breathing out bring your left leg back towards the right and keep the feet just a foot apart with your heels flat to the ground. Simultaneously raise your buttocks and lower your head between your arms, so that your body forms a triangle with the ground. This is the Mehru Asana or mountain posture. While maintaining the posture, take a deep inhalation. While breathing out drop both knees to the ground and slowly slide the body down at an angle and bring your chest and chin to the ground. Eight parts of your body namely your toes, knees, chest, hands and chin should touch the ground while the buttocks are kept up. You’re your breath while performing this Ashtanga Bhumi Sparsha, the eight limbed prostration. Breathe out and come into Bhujanga Asana, the Cobra posture. Focus your awareness at the base of your spine and feel a healthy stretch in your back and neck. Exhale and come back to the Mehru Asana, the mountain posture. This strengthens the arms and legs as well as the spinal column. Inhale and bring your right leg forward in-between your hands while keeping your left leg in its original position to perform the Ashwa Sanchalana Asana. Breathe out and bring your left foot forward to come into the Pada Hasta Asana. Breathe in and come up and perform the Anjali Mudra and bend backward. Breathe out and come back to the standing while bringing your hands back to the chest in Namaskar Mudra. To perform the Rishikesh Surya Namaskar on the opposite side perform the practice again with a slight modification. To complete the other half the same movements are repeated except that the left leg is brought back while performing the Ashwa Sanchalana the first time. The other postures such as Mehru Asana, Ashtanga Bhumi Sparsha and Bhujanga Asana are done in the same manner. When coming back to the Ashwa Sanchalana the left foot is brought forward and then the Pada Hasta is performed by joining right foot to the left before completing the practice with the Anjali Mudra and finally relaxing in the Sama Sthithi with deep breathing. One full round consists of the 12 poses done twice in sequence. Practice 3 to 9 rounds of the Surya Namaskar daily for maximum benefit. When the exercises are done little quickly the gain is more physical and when they are done slowly with breath awareness the gain is more mental and spiritual. 36 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  36. 36. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 YOGA ASANAS TALA KRIYA The term, “Tala” refers to a Palmyra tree and you should try to stretch yourself as tall as that tree while performing this practice. Take up a comfortable and stable Samasthiti Asana. Breathe in and lift both arms up over your head until they are parallel to each other. Let the palms of both hands face inward and then go up onto your toes and stretch up as high as possible. Hold the breath and feel the healthy stretch along your whole body from toes to finger tips. Breathe out and relax your arms back to your sides while coming back to the flat foot posture. Repeat the practice two more times at each session for maximum benefit. With practice the posture can be held for a longer time and normal breathing done while holding the posture for 30 to 45 seconds. HASTHA KONA KRIYA Stand in a steady Samastiti Asana with your arms by your side. Breathe in and lift your right arm over your head. Try to extend the arm over your head towards the left as far as possible without bending it. This gives a good stretch to the entire right side of the body. Slowly start to breathe out and lower your arm slowly back to the side. Repeat the practice a few more times. Make sure that you lift your arm on the in breath and lower it on the out breath. Perform the practice on the opposite side by lifting your left arm over your head while breathing in. Extend it as far towards the right as possible without bending it. Feel the excellent stretch on the entire left side of your body. Lower your arm back to your side while breathing out. Repeat the practice a few more times. The Hastha Kona Kriya helps to stretch and tone up the musculature of the arms, shoulders and the Para-spinal area in a way not done in day-to-day life. This helps trigger the relaxation response in these tissues that are normally tensed due to disuse, misuse and abuse. A sense of profound relaxation is obtained after the practice of this activity that is also known as the Ardha Kati Chakrasana. TRIKONA ASANA Stand in Samasthiti Asana. Place your feet two to three feet apart facing forwards. Stretch your arms to the sides so that they are pulling the chest in opposite directions. Turn your head and right foot to the right side and slowly bring your right hand down to the right foot and place the palm of the right hand on the ground in front of the right foot. Look up at the middle finger of the left hand. Let the entire torso get a good twist and stretch. Hold the position for 30 seconds while performing deep breathing. Release and come back up to the open arm position and then do the opposite side by placing your left hand down in front of the left foot. Hold the position for 30 seconds while performing deep breathing. When ready come back up to the Samasthiti Asana and relax with a few rounds of deep breathing. VAKRA ASANA Sit erect with your legs stretched out in the Uttana Asana. Bend your right knee and place the right foot by the side of the left knee. Turn to your right and place your right hand on the ground behind you to support your erect position. Bring your left arm round the outer side of the right knee and catch hold of the right big toe. Turn your head and look back over your right shoulder. The erect knee acts as a fulcrum for getting maximum twist of the spine. Keep your torso as straight as possible. Hold the posture for 30 seconds with soft breathing. Release the posture and come back to the Uttana Asana. This posture gives an excellent massage to the abdominal organs and is very Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 37
  37. 37. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 useful for those suffering from diabetes as well as digestive disorders. It is also useful for neck and back problems. Repeat the practice on the opposite side in a similar manner. Hold the posture for 30 seconds with soft breathing. Release the posture and come back to the Uttana Asana and relax with deep breathing for some time. ARDHA MATSYENDRA ASANA Sit erect with both legs stretched out in front and your palms gently pressing on the ground by your sides in Uttana Asana. Fold your right knee and place the heel tight in against the perineum. Place your left foot by the side of your right thigh by crossing it over the knee. Bring your right hand round the outer side of the left knee passing between the chest and the knee and catch hold of the left big toe. Your right shoulder blade rests on the outer side of your left knee. Take your left hand round your back and try to get a grip on your right thigh. Look back over your left shoulder.The erect knee acts as a fulcrum for getting maximum twist of the spine. Keep your trunk vertical. Hold the posture for 30 seconds with soft breathing. This posture gives an excellent massage to all the abdominal organs and is very useful for those suffering from diabetes as well as digestive disorders. Release and come back to the Uttana Asana. Repeat on the opposite side by folding your left knee with the heel tight in against the perineum. Place your right foot by the side of your left thigh by crossing it over the knee. Bring your left hand round the outer side of the right knee passing between the chest and the knee and catch hold of the right big toe. Your left shoulder blade rests on the outer side of your right knee. Take your right hand round your back and try to get a grip on your left thigh. Look back over your right shoulder. The erect knee acts as a fulcrum for getting maximum twist of the spine. Keep your trunk vertical. Hold the posture for 30 seconds with soft breathing. When you are ready slowly release the posture and come back to the Uttana Asana. CHATUS PADA ASANA AND VYAGRAHA PRANAYAMA Take up the Chatus Pada Asana with your weight evenly distributed between your hands and knees. Start breathing in and out for an equal count of six. While breathing in slowly lift your head and arch your back downwards. Then breathe out slowly and lower your head while arching your back upwards. Breathe in while lifting your head and arch your back down. Breathe out while lowering your head and arching your back up. Repeat this excellent practice at least nine times at each session. Vyagraha Pranayama helps us to utilize all sections of our lungs in a balanced and controlled manner thus energizing the whole body with healing Pranic energy. When ready slowly relax back to the Vajrasana for a period of quiet contemplation. BHUJANGINI MUDRA To perform the Cobra gesture, take up the Unmukha Asana which is a prone position with your entire body in a straight line. In this technique the emphasis is on the breathing pattern and the production of a mighty hissing sound through the clenched teeth. Slowly bring your arms forward and keep your palms on the ground alongside your shoulders. Take in a deep breath. While making a mighty hissing sound, flare back into the Bhujanga Asana. Slowly relax back onto the floor while breathing in and then again flare back with a mighty hiss. Repeat 38 Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry
  38. 38. CME-cum-Workshop on Yoga & Lifestyle Disorders 2013 this Mudra at least three to six times at each session. This technique helps release the pent up stress that accumulates in our system from our daily life and provides great emotional and mental relief. It is an excellent stress-buster and is a must for all in this day and age. After completing the practice come back down to the face prone pose. Place your arms alongside your body and turn your head to the side. Relax for a few minutes and let the benefit of this Mudra seep into each and every cell of your body. PAWAN MUKTA ASANA Lie down in a comfortable Shavasana and start to breathe in and out for an equal count of six or eight. To perform the single legged Eka Pada Pawan Mukta Asana bend and lift your right knee while breathing in and simultaneously also lift your head off the ground. Catch hold of your knee with your arms and try to touch your knee to your forehead. Hold the position a few seconds and then while breathing out slowly release the position and lower your head while at the same time bringing your foot back to the ground. Repeat this at least two more times to complete a set of three rounds of the practice. Relax a few seconds in the Shavasana and then perform the practice on the left side. Relax in Shavasana for a few minutes with deep and rhythmic breathing while concentrating on your abdominal area that will help to relax you further. To perform the double legged Dwi Pada Pawan Mukta Asana bend and lift both your knees while breathing in. Bring them as close to your forehead as possible while simultaneously raising your head to meet the knees. Hold a few seconds and then while breathing out, lower your head and simultaneously bring your feet back to the ground. Repeat this two more times to complete a set of three rounds at each session. Relax in Shavasana for a few minutes with deep and rhythmic breathing while concentrating on your abdominal area. This will help you to relax even further as the emotional tensions tend to tighten up the abdominal area leading to a feeling of “butterflies in the stomach”. EKA PADA UTTANPADA ASANA From Shava Asana lift your right leg up towards the sky on the in breath. Try not to bend the knee if possible. On the out breath lower the leg back to the ground. Use a breath cycle of in and out for a count of six or eight. Repeat this two more times. Perform the same practice on the left side. Lift your left leg up towards the sky on the in breath. Try not to bend the knee if possible. On the out breath lower the leg back to the ground. Use a breath cycle of in and out for a count of six or eight. Repeat this two more times. After performing the practice at least three times on each side relax in Shava Asana with deep breathing. DWI PADA UTTANPADA ASANA From Shava Asana lift both legs up towards the sky on the in breath. Try not to bend the knees if possible. On the out breath lower the legs back to the ground. Use a breath cycle of in and out for a count of six or eight. Repeat this two more times and then relax in Shava Asana with deep breathing. Those who have back problems should not do straight leg lifting and should do it with bent knees instead to avoid increasing the strain on the back. Department of Physiology & CYTER, MGMC&RI, Pondicherry 39